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WoWJul 14, 2016 12:45 pm CT

Legion world quest Q&A with Jeremy Feasel liveblog

Today’s Legion Q&A will be covering world quests with Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel (AKA @Muffinus). Even if you haven’t submitted any questions, these Q&As have been packed with information about just how things will work in Legion as well as insight into what the designers are thinking. If you’re remotely interested in the world quest system, this Q&A will be worth a watch.

You can watch it live on Twitch (for those of you checking this post later, you should be able to find it on VOD at that link once it’s over) or, if you can’t, follow along with us here — it will be starting in just a few minutes!

Q: What do you do on the team and what do you have to do with world quests and demon invasions?

A: We worked on the Broken Shore, the demon invasions, and the world quests. It was cool to do the intro to the expansion and the end tail and also to tie the two together.

Q: Are you planning to regularly update world quests and rewards in future patches?

A: Yes! When we developed the world quest system we wanted it to be easy to add additional content to. These operate in what we call “buckets.” That means a group of world quests is mutually exclusive with other world quests in that space. I.e. if you go to Highmountain you’ll only have certain world quests each day so you won’t have a hundred things showing up every day. When we add new content you’ll see it more often and we’ll be able to swap things out.

Q: Will you add world quests to old zones to give people a reason to go back to them?

A: We like how world quests are working out so far, but keep in mind it’s the first iteration of the system. We want to see how it plays out. We’re dipping our toes into the water with demon invasions which are essentially a world quest for the zone. It’s our first foray into this large-scale group questing. I think once we figure out what we like about world quests we will continue iterating on them. You will be seeing at least one world quest showing up in the old world: the revamped fishing tournament. World quests tell you this event is happening and what you’ll get for it, solving problems with having to already need to know an event is happening to participate.

Q: Will world quests be a viable alternative to dungeons and raiding for gear and items?

A: It’s up to you as a player to opt in to what you want to do to progress as a character. The most difficult content you can do at any given time will give you the best gear, so you’ll want to do raids, etc. World quests and raids aren’t mutually exclusive. If you’re a player who just wants to do world quests, absolutely. If you’re a player who just wants to do dungeons and raids, absolutely. It’s up to you. Play your way.

Q: Will you be able to filter world quests, i.e. by time left, faction, etc.

A: We already have some, like pet battles. Let us know what you want to see. The mod community is already making things to let you filter in specific way, so let us know what you like.

Q: How do you plan on incentivizing world quests once people have the gear they want and don’t need order hall resources anymore?

A: There’s a presupposition here that this player has “finished” the game. Let’s talk about order halls first. Different from garrisons, it’s helping you become more effective in the game. Powering up bodyguards, lets you get artifact power faster. There may be a point where you feel like you may not need order hall resources, but it will be very hard to max out. It will be very difficult to max out your gear, get all of your legendaries, etc. Let us know if you get there because we have more content. But there are a ton of ways you can max your character out and you may decide it’s not necessary. Our goal is to have more world quests than you can complete which lets you pick and choose. Hopefully that opens you up to doing other things in the game.

Q: Between too many dailies in Mists and not enough world content for Warlords, how did you find the balance for Legion?

A: We looked to the most fulfilling experience. Mists had some really great experience and during the patches there were really great storylines. There was a variety of different things to do. When we looked at that system we saw a lot of things to improve on — I’d call world quests a version 2 of this system. I think everyone had the feeling in Mists where you’d get on and do 20 daily quests, and none of them felt important. The rewards were months down the line and everything up to that point you didn’t really care about. “How many times do I have to get this guy out of this same cave? We should put a GPS tracker on him.”

We liked MoP’s quest systems but wanted to give you really cool, different rewards every day. That new loot scheme solved that problem. You will totally get new cool things every day. You won’t feel like you have a shopping list to do every day. You can also chose what to do in terms of how to progress your character.

Then we wanted to keep the feeling that you had a lot of things to do. We have close to 1,000 world quests. Every three hours new worlds are popping. Every six hours new faction quests are popping. The world feels alive and active and constantly changing, which gets us away from that daily feeling.

We also wanted to get away from the feeling that you’re falling behind. Part of fixing that was getting loot every day. Now if you don’t log in for several days, you will have more world quests when you don’t log on for a few days. It lets you take a little time off and still get the rewards.

Then there’s lots of variety. There are battle pets and PVP and dungeons and mini-games. We opened our developers to a lot of wild and wacky ideas. You won’t see the same world boss except a few days a year because there are so many new things.

Q: Could one of the bonus weekend events give bonus rewards for world quests?

A: Yes. The apexis weekend will become world quest weekends which will give you bonus reputation and a chance for extra loot. However bonus weekends won’t start immediately after the launch of Legion.

Q: Will there be world quests that are PVP related?

A: Yes, and we wanted to do weird and wacky things with this. There’s a lot of incentives to world PVP. You can turn into a murloc, you can fall into a dark pit… anything goes in world PVP. Go and have fun. There are also PVE-style PVP objectives, like in Wintergrasp where you can attack Warden towers that will flag you for PVP. You can get involved if you want to but don’t have to. And you’ll get honor from all of this. W

Q: Are pet battle world quests going to have any progression tied to them beyond the pet system?

A: You can get pet battle charms and level up tokens, but they can also give you artifact progression, count for your emissary quest, etc. The emissary quest gives you a little direction when you log on for the day. Think of Hearthstone where you log on and see your daily quests — you’ll have an emissary that comes to you and asks you to do quests in a specific zone. You’ll have a variety of different choices to get those completed. Pick and choose the world quests you want to do that advance your character. Emissary quests last three days and if you don’t log on for three days you’ll have three of them. You’ll get a very rewarding cache for doing these.

Q: Can you get legendaries from world quests?

A: The emissary caches can give you a legendary but right now the world quests do not. We don’t want them to feel like a list of chores that you have to do every week.

Q: Will factions only be a UI element for world quests or will new story elements unlock as you progress through world quests?

A: We really like this idea. You’re going to see this kind of quest in Suramar. As you progress into quests you’ll unlock new content and story.

Q: Are there world quests for groups or is predominately for solo play?

A: There are world bosses and things you’d expect to do in a group. Also everything in the game now allows up to five players on its tap list so you’re incentivizes you to help people with their objectives. We want this particular expansion to feel very group-friendly.

Q: How do world quest refresh timers work and how often will they refresh in one play session?

A: Each world quest “bucket” has different world quests that spawn and different respawn timers. The answer to this question is really all over the place. We wanted the game to feel dynamic. There are three hour marks and six hour marks, but you don’t have to check every 15 minutes.

Q: Are there plans to keep world quests entertaining after we’ve done them for weeks since they’ll be important for character progression?

A: Answering this question is the holy grail of MMO design. How do I keep the player entertain for years? We’ve frontloaded, making as many world quests as we could and making a lot of variety. Mini-games and kill quests and more. We have more world quests created than we’ve ever made for the end game before. Something we’re going to be looking for is when do these things start feeling stale? When do things feel like they’re coming up too often? It’s relatively painless to add things and take things out.

Q: I barely see relics as world quest rewards. Will they spawn more frequently or is this the correct rate?

A: Relics are essentially a power item that you slot into your artifact. They’re roughly similar to how weapon drops used to work. We’ve realized the spawn rate is too low, though, and we’ve increased it.

Q: Will my friends see different world quests than I do and how does grouping up work in this case?

A: Outside of individual progression like in Suramar you will see the same world quests and you’ll all see relatively similar loot from world quests. We didn’t want one person to get something really exciting and another person getting a few order hall resources. We also have fall-back loot if you’ve already gotten that particular item. It should be more social.

Q: Will world quests be the only way to get certain rewards or will they be interchangeable with running dungeons or other things?

A: World quests will be the best way to get some things. Reputation, your best bet will be emissary quests. Order hall resources, you’ll want to pick world quests that give the most. Artifact power is the thing you can get plenty of from anything. There are also world quests dungeon quests; they aren’t mutually exclusive.

Q: Can we get the old daily quests back, too?

A: That should be what faction world quests feel like, only they spawn every six hours instead of every day. One of our major thrusts with world quests was to be sure you felt like you were doing things that made sense for people in a particular zone. You’ll get “talking heads” popping up reading you quest text in a zone. We’ll drive forward quest storylines. You’ll definitely find that in Suramar.

Q: Which parts of the pre-event will be gone when Legion launches?

A: SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW! During the Legion pre-launch you will have this explosive initial experience as well as several sets of quest that will unlock during the pre-launch experience. It’s going to be lore-heavy and will help drive the story into Legion. If you are a player that’s coming back after Legion launches… that’s a very long and drawn out experience to send you through before you get your artifact and can play with your friends. We’ll be short cutting to the end of the story where Dalaran moves to the Broken Isles. But any time you want to experience those stories that you missed you can go see an archivist in Dalaran and let you go back in time. Demon invasions is something that will be exclusive to the pre-launch period. There are a bunch of exclusive pre-launch loot so you’re going to want to jump in. This won’t launch right when 7.0 launches: you’ll have some time to get used to updated classes first.

Q: Will world quests scale past the normal raid threshold? Will ilvls keep increasing past 840?

A: Yes. Anything you can do as an end-game piece of content in Legion can grant you max-level gear. The base level for gear is different — a Mythic raid has a super high base level, but there’s a chance for higher level gear from world quests. If you have a high ilvl you’ll also have a higher chance of getting upgrades from world quests than lower ilvl players.

Q: How will world quests dovetail into your order hall? 

A: Very different from garrisons. We took the cool bits, like bodyguards. We didn’t take things like mines. The things you do in your order hall are there to enhance your power out in the world. It isn’t like garrisons where it encourages you to stay there. The order hall systems encourage you to go out in the world rather than the other way around.

Q: Are there any plans to add scaling to old zones that would let you skip from zone to zone?

A: We think this idea is super awesome. Legion is our first foray into having level agnostic zones, but there are certain things we want to make sure don’t come back to bite us before we go wide with it into the rest of the world. But we want to make sure you feel powerful — not like the boars in Elwynn or Durotar could beat you. And we want to make sure it’s a fun experience. We want to make sure it’s a good experience and we’re not just doing it for scaling sake.

Q: How do the world quests with gear rewards scale with the gear you’re currently wearing?

A: As you increase your ilvl you’ll increase your average ilvl potential of the things that drop from world quests. This should keep everything relevant as your character advances.

Q: Is there any chance we’ll be seeing world quests involving Gilneas? 

A: Yes. Some interesting story will be happening with Genn Greymane and Sylvanas. There’s this group of towers that surround the Broken Isles. They’re the towers the Wardens used to keep the isles secure, but now they don’t have time to man these towers. They’re heavily defensible. You’ll be seeing Genn’s troops and Sylvanas’ troops taking over these towers and these will become objectives for the opposite faction.

Q: Will the bonus objectives be carried through in Legion?

A: You’ll see the bonus objective making a comeback very similar to its implementation in Warlords.

Q: Will world quests have different criteria for completion depending on the class role of the player?

A: It’s a place we’d like to think about exploring. I think there’s a really cool class fantasy of you and a team of Warlocks going in and enslaving all the demons, or Paladins going in and have a time where they all have to use their bubble and there’s that one guy who doesn’t and we all laugh at him. This is all theoretical right now, though. If there’s anything you’d like to see, please let us know. Reach out to us, because we’re listening.

There’s no Q&A next week but there will be one coming up soon with Jonathan LeCraft about Demon Hunters.

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